Shock as Sydney call centre outsourcer Peakbound closes
Sad news with Sydney based call centre outsourcer Peakbound announcing the closure of their call centre operations effective immediately.
The announcement coincided with the handing down of the Royal Commission’s interim report into the Financial Services industry.
Sydney-based Peakbound was predominately a specialist call centre outsourcer who was heavily focussed on the financial services industry.
With the Financial Services industry under enormous pressure due to the unethical sales practices displayed by many of the banks, most have recently pulled back from telemarketing and other sales activities to reduce exposure.
In particular, the number of campaigns run by external partners has been scaled back significantly and this has ultimately impacted Peakbound hard.
Having had some exposure to Peakbound over the years, I have always found them to be extremely high on ethics and compliance so it no doubt comes as a bitter blow as they, and potentially others, have ultimately paid the price for unethical practices conducted by others.
Nick Collett, General Manager Peakbound announced “On the day the Royal Commission hands down its interim report, we close the doors on Peakbound. To say we were collateral damage doesn’t really do it justice. My lasting impression is the professionalism and grace with which my team handled the situation. While the financial services industry has to face into a number of challenges, we all know there was plenty of good and good intent in our clients and partners”.
At its peak, Peakbound employed around 500 staff in their modern contact centre premises located in Strawberry Hills, Sydney.
Will there be more call centre closures in Australia?
As much as it’s sad to see another local outsourcer close its doors, I don’t think we are about to see a flurry of further closures.
In fact, my observations are quite the opposite with the local outsourcing market, and the broader contact centre industry, undergoing a bit of a resurgence.
Whilst there are many underlying factors, some key contributors include:
- With the Australian dollar tanking, the costs of offshore call centres are continuing to increase. From parity with the USD in 2013 we are now down to ~$0.70 making the Philippines, in particular, more expensive (but still cheaper than here). iSelect and Whirpool are just two recent examples of businesses bringing offshore call centres back to Australia.
- There is a growing trend of companies investing in their customer experience as their point of difference.
- Technology is enabling businesses to automate simpler enquiries or move them to self-service and then invest those savings in their workforce to handle the more complex enquiries.
Recommended further reading: The current BPO challenges and 6 solutions on how they can survive
Find a list of all the call centre outsourcers/BPOs in Australia on the free CX Directory >>>